This has not been a good week in the Alcoholic Daze calendar and I can't wait for normality and Monday.
About 6 months ago, I had been to see my GP about two strange marks that had erupted on my face. One on my chin - a gingery irregular circle-shaped thing about the size of a 50p piece which has grown very slowly over the space of 8 years. It has not responded one jot over the years to the various lotions and potions prescribed by the different GPs who have diagnosed everything from solar keratosis to ringworm to a liver spot. It is apparently none of these and refuses to leave the space taken up on my chin. I went to see a GP again last summer, as I wanted another attempt at getting them to diagnose what it really was or at least refer me to a dermatologist. Almost in passing I had also mentioned the second mark - a pearly white spot on my forehead which suddenly appeared almost overnight about 9 months ago. That turned out to be immediately more suspect and worthy of a referral than the gingery mark. Before I knew it, I had had a skin biopsy on the pearly spot and the result, which I received back in November, was that it is a basal cell carcinoma.
The very word "carcinoma" is enough to give me the heebie-jeebies, but I was assured that, although a cancer, it does not spread to other parts of the body, grows slowly and can be removed with success. So far so good.
Fast forward to last Thursday when I finally got an appointment with the consultant dermatologist to look at it. She confirmed to the fourth-year medical student at her elbow that the pearly thing on my forehead was indeed a basal cell carcinoma and talked her through how to recognise it with its "rolled edges" when the skin is squeezed. Talk then moved to the gingery thing on my chin. With much prodding and poking and staring at it through an illuminated magnifier, the consultant first admitted she hadn't a clue what it was ("oh no, I'm to be a guinea pig", I thought) but then she later decided it too might be a variation of a basal cell carcinoma. "Best get another biopsy to make sure" she said. So now my chin is sporting two stitches, as well as the scar from the original biopsy stitches I had on my forehead back in September. My face is so resembling a patchwork quilt! Long story short, I'm being referred to a maxillofacial surgeon for the offending growths to be excised.
So that is how my weekend started with the thought that if the chin one has to be removed, I could have a hole in it the size of Siberia and look like Quasimodo. Probably all my fault too, because, as a teenager back in the Swinging Sixties, I used to soak up the sun. In addition, my Dad had a table-top ray lamp that could be used as infra red for his bad back. It had a switch to convert it to ultra-violet rays which is what I would use it for and stick my face 6 inches away from it to tan my face. We sadly didn't know the danger in those days.
Saturday was the 13th anniversary of my father's death. My mother still misses him dreadfully and each year seems to get more painful for her than easier. I had on the agenda a lunch out at a local carvery to distract her which I think did the trick, although I did feel a tad self-conscious walking around with two stitches in my chin, as if I had done ten rounds with Mike Tyson or emerged from a Frankenstein set. At least we got a table away from anyone else. I think they thought we were going to be trouble. Sunday was the 13th anniversary of the worst day of my life. I can't help it, but the two dates always bring back such rotten memories on both losses.
Sorry if this post is a bit depressing, but that really sums up my crappy week. From here on, this week has only got to get better, hasn't it?